Trevor Bauer was fantastic, but the Cleveland Indians still weren’t able to come away with the victory in Monday’s 4-3 loss to the White Sox. The Indians fell to Chicago in the ninth inning of the first game of the series, despite Bauer pitching seven strong innings. The Tribe’s right-hander gave up just four hits in seven innings, while walking two and striking out seven batters. Meanwhile, Sox lefty John Danks allowed three runs on six hits and two walks, with four strikeouts. Cleveland closer Cody Allen blew a 3-0 lead in the ninth inning, giving up four runs and costing the team a win.
Ryan Raburn led off with a long solo homer to the left field seats to start the second inning. Danks got the next three batters out, but the Tribe took a 1-0 lead and wouldn’t trail again until the final pitch of the game.
With two down in the third inning, Danks walked Mike Aviles. Michael Brantley hit a double to right field to score Aviles, putting the Tribe up 2-0. The Indians scored again in the fifth inning, when catcher Brett Hayes led off with a solo home run to left field, but Danks once again limited the damage.
Allen had another bad outing in the ninth, despite getting leadoff hitter Adam LaRoche to strike out looking. He then gave up a double to Avisail Garcia and walked Conor Gillaspie, before releasing a wild pitch that let both runners advance. Alexei Ramirez doubled to score both runs, and Tyler Flowers singled to put the tying run at third. A single off of the bat of Gordon Beckham cost Bauer the win and gave Allen a blown save. Adam Eaton contributed a single of his own to load the bases for Melky Cabrera. Cabrera hit the game winning single, making the final score 4-3 in favor of the White Sox.
Bauer was excellent in his third outing of the year, giving the Tribe a chance at a shutout. While the offense didn’t score a ton of runs, they scored enough to give the pitching staff something to work with. Aviles and Raburn each had a pair of hits and a walk in four trips to the plate, which is certainly a good sign. Out of the bullpen, Nick Hagadone had a pair of strikeouts and Bryan Shaw struck out the only batter he faced.
The offense still looks sluggish, with most of the runs coming from role players. Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana each had 0-for-4 nights, and Lonnie Chisenhall and Jose Ramirez were hitless as well. Michael Bourn and Brandon Moss got the day off, but should be back in the lineup on Tuesday. But the biggest negative was Allen, who looked completely unable to fend off hits. Perhaps it was the cold, or perhaps it’s something worse, but the closer situation is becoming a major concern for the Tribe.
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Check It Out
– Raburn’s home run was the 18th of his career against Chicago. He has an .858 OPS against the Sox over that same time.
– Heading into Monday’s start, Bauer had the seventh-best ERA in the American League, at 1.50. He dropped that down to a 0.95 ERA after shutting out the Sox for seven innings.
– On Tuesday, Carlos Carrasco will take on right-hander Hector Noesi in the second game of a three-game set. Carrasco, who is making his first start since being hit with a line drive last week, is 1-1 with a 2.84 ERA and 10 strikeouts. Noesi struck out six in his first outing, earning the loss and a 3.86 ERA in 4.2 innings.